Imagine having the most influential people and bloggers in your industry spreading the word about your content. How powerful would that be? Outreach marketing is the art of building relationships with influencers in your space and have them help you spread the word about your content. The problem is that most people have no idea how to do outreach marketing; they send a few messages, they don’t get any results and they give up.
Doing outreach marketing isn’t easy, it isn’t cheap and it surely can’t be done fast. But if you do it right, you’ll have the attention of your entire industry. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to do outreach marketing.
There are seven steps you need to follow to make your outreach marketing campaign successful:

  1. Create amazing content
  2. Find the influencers
  3. Find their contact information
  4. Manage your contacts
  5. Build rapport with key influencers
  6. Use social ads to increase reach
  7. Continue nurturing the relationships you’ve built

Step 1: Create Amazing Content
If you’re going to go through the trouble of reaching out to influencers, you want to make sure that the content you have to present is extremely good. Here are some tips on creating top-notch content:

  • Analyze viral content in your industry and try to figure out why it went viral. In most cases you’ll easily find patterns that you can apply to your own content. What kind of content goes viral? Ebooks, videos, tools, infographics? What are the hottest topics?
  • World-class design is crucial. Don’t be cheap when it comes to hiring a designer.
  • Check out this blog post: 15 Free Tools to Create Awesome Content
  • The title you choose for your content is very important: a bad name will ensure failure and a great name will help you succeed. Here are some resources on naming your content:How To Write Magnetic Headlines
    The Ultimate Guide To Writing Incredible Headlines
    How To Write Headlines
    15 Ways To Rework Your Next Blog Post Title
  • Don’t forget to add embed codes on your content page so people can re-post it to their blogs and websites. Make sure the embed code contains a link back to the original source. Here’s an example from an infographic we just released:
  • Make sure you have ShareThis on your page so your visitors can easily share your content using social media.
  • And I’ve left the most important tip for last: co-create your content with the influencers that will be helping you spread the word about your product. Tell them what you’re trying to do, ask them for feedback and make sure you incorporate this feedback. This will help you in two ways:1. It’ll make your content better
    2. It’ll make the influencers feel part of the project and they’ll be more likely to help you promote it

Step #2: Find the Influencers
This is how you can find influencers in your industry:

  1. Use FollowerWonk to find them on Twitter
  2. Do a Google search

    Make sure you evaluate different blogs and only reach out to those that have a lot of comments, subscribers and social shares.
  3. Use Tumblr Explore to find bloggers on that platform. Select a category and then look for the list of top contributors in that category.
  4. Use the LinkedIn advanced search to find the people who work for a given media outlet. Make sure you select “Current”, as you only want to find people who still work there.

My favorite tool for outreach marketing is BuzzStream for Link Building. You can watch this video to learn how it works:

BuzzStream is a phenomenal tool to find and evaluate influencers.
Step #3: Find Their Contact Information
BuzzStream will automatically find the contact information for most of your contacts, but there are some other things you can do manually in case you don’t have a BuzzStream account or need additional information about your contacts.

  • Check the About Us page on their website
  • Do a company search on LinkedIn
  • Rapportive is a, must-have, free tool that integrates with Gmail and shows you a lot of great information about the person you’re about to email.
    If you don’t know someone’s email address, you can always try to guess; once Rapportive shows you information on that person, you’ll know you have the right email address. If I wanted to contact Mark Jones I’d try these
  • You can do a WhoIs search to find the domain registration information.
  • Try this Google search to find Twitter users by domain:
  • Try this Google search to find LinkedIn users: intitle:linkedin (“Zeke Camusio” AND “The Outsourcing Company” AND “Portland”) -intitle:profile -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -intitle:jobs -intitle:groups -intitle:events -intitle:answers
  • Use this search query to find Facebook users:
  • People directories like Pipl and 123People can be extremely helpful.

For an outreach campaign to be successful it’s essential that you contact the right people in the organization. Sending emails to info@ rarely gets responses. When you find A-list blogs or media outlets, spend a few minutes finding the right person to contact.
Step 4: Manage Your Contacts
You can use any CRM (or even Excel) to keep track of the people you contact so you can later follow up with them, I like BuzzStream a lot for a few simple reasons:

  • All the contact information gets pulled into the CRM automatically, which is a HUGE time-saver.
  • All the communications (emails, tweets, etc.) between your contacts and you are automatically saved to your account so you can keep track of what has been said.
  • BuzzStream has a feature called BuzzMarker, which is a bookmarking tool that works with any browser and allows you to add websites to your list of prospects with just one click.
Step #5: Build Rapport with Key Influencers
These are some tips to get influencers to like you:
  • Focus on how you can help them instead of how they can help you. If you want to ask them to spread the word explain how that will help them and their audience, not you.
  • Spend time learning about your prospects (look them up in social networks and use Rapportive a lot) and personalize your emails. A lot of people ask me whether they should use templates or custom messages. I tell them they need to combine both: have a template but make sure you personalize it. BuzzStream is perfect for this.
  • When you research a potential influencer, look for things you have in common. Maybe you live close to each other or have similar interests or maybe you go on vacations to the same place. Most influencers have personal blogs where they talk about their hobbies and interests. Make sure you’re truthful in your approaches; you don’t want to come across as a phony.
  • Check out the things each influencer promotes and discusses so you can get a sense of what’s important to them. This will help you personalize your approach.
  • Never ask for links; just tell influencers about what you have and ask for feedback. If they want to promote it, they will.
  • A lot of influencers will look you up online, so make sure you update all your social media profiles and don’t forget that your profile photo is extremely important.
  • If they ask questions and you can answer them, do it. Follow them on Twitter (use private lists to keep your contacts organized), Quora and LinkedIn.
  • Retweet their content. When you do so, credit the author instead of the publication. And, make sure you write a short comment about why you liked the content they tweeted.
  • Post useful comments on their blogs. Don’t include any links; make sure you’re creating value.

Step #6: Use Social Ads to Increase Reach
Using Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Reddit to promote your content can be extremely useful if you do it right.
On Facebook you can target bloggers in your industry:

On LinkedIn you can target people that belong to a certain group:

You can also do a combination of job title + industry to find bloggers in your space:

Here’s some information about StumbleUpon Ads:

And here’s more info about the Reddit Ad program:

Step #7: Continue Nurturing the Relationships You’ve Built
Do you want to know how to ensure failure in outreach marketing? Use influencers when you need them and them forget about them. I don’t need to tell you why this is a bad idea; I’m sure you get it. But it’s surprising how many people do this. Continue developing the relationships you build; not only is it easier to get those people to promote your stuff again than it is to find new influencers, but it’s also the right thing to do.
Best of luck with your outreach marketing campaign. Let me know if you have any questions; I’m here to help.